THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said San Miguel Corp. (SMC) withdrew its acquisition of Holcim Philippines, Inc. after the agency rejected the parties’ proposals for voluntary commitments drafted in response to concerns from the merger.
SMC on Monday said it would not proceed with the $2.15 billion transaction after its agreements lapsed on May 10 before getting PCC approval. Antitrust body said that the parties have the prerogative to extend the deadline, which it said was internally agreed on by the transacting parties.
PCC in a statement on Tuesday said that SMC’s decision came after the commission’s rejection of their proposals, and “after the parties had requested several extensions to file their required comment to the Statement of Concerns (SoC) submitted by the PCC’s Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) to the Commission.”
The commission had earlier pointed out that the merger could potentially cause a monopoly, increased market power, or collusion, lessening competition in the market for grey cement in four key areas in the country.
PCC rejected the voluntary commitments, finding them insufficient in addressing competition concerns.
PCC said the parties have yet to file their comments in response to the competition concerns. The commission also has yet to receive a formal notice from the parties on withdrawing their transaction from review.
“The PCC is cognizant of the changes in market conditions during these extraordinary times, and as such, supports the promotion of business and their respective re-calibration of decisions in response to these conditions,” the commission said. — Jenina P. Ibañez